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Comet Siding Spring flew past Mars

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Marsha Freeman

At a remarkably close distance of about 85,000 miles, this afternoon at about 3 PM yesterday, the European Space Agency reported that its Mars Express orbiter was OK (that is, suffered no damage). NASA states that the "Post-Comet Spacecraft Status" of its three orbiters is still "pending." The orbiters have to transfer back to their regular orbits and regain position so they communicate with Earth. Later this evening, there may be data or photographs of the comet from Mars.

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